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Injured Dade Co. K9 Rocco continues recovery, awaits surgery next week

K9 Rocco was injured when he escaped a patrol unit on an interstate near the Tennessee border

The Dade County Sheriff's Office has provided an update on K9 Rocco after his injuries just after Christmas.

Rocco initially went missing after a latch on his cage malfunctioned, allowing him to escape a patrol car on an interstate near the Tennessee-Georgia border on December 26.

He was later found by citizen volunteers, but Rocco was suffering from some injuries which needed medical treatment.

RELATED | K9 missing in Georgia found safe after escaping patrol car on the interstate

Sheriff Ray Cross wanted to thank the public for their assistance in locating Rocco.

"Our community was essential in helping us find Rocco, and bring him home," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post.

Since then, he has been transported to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for medical care. The veterinarians there have diagnosed an injury to a bone in Rocco's leg, torn ligaments and abrasions.

Rocco has a wound to the area where veterinarians will need to operate. As a result, they are treating those wounds with antibiotics to reduce contamination and/or any potential for infection prior to surgery, which, at this point, is expected to take place on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Because Rocco is a working police K9, veterinarians plan to put in an implant during surgery, in hopes that it will aid with recovery and help him get back to work more rapidly.

In the meantime, Sheriff Cross said he has looked into the malfunctioning door on the patrol unit and wanted to assure the community that it is being addressed so that the incident would not be repeated.

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